Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Friday, September 30, 2022

Corona Virus and Undue criticism

Corona viruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle east respiratory syndrome, it is a new strain that has not been previously identified in human (WHO). The virus is believed to originate from Wuhan China, where it has affected maximum population. China was quick in responding to the situation and tried to contain the spread, however, it still trickled over to the region affecting all neighboring countries. Pakistan took a decision based on experts input not to extricate students in china till the time virus is not controlled, however, the virus still entered Pakistan through Iran; as zaireen from all over Pakistan frequently visits religious places in Iran. Balochistan provincial govt tried to control the spread by sealing Pakistan-Iran border and making a screening facility alongwith a temporary hospital in Taftan. However, corona virus patients have started emerging from all over Pakistan, which indicates that it had already crept into Pakistan.
Govt is currently working to control the situation and have taken various steps to limit the spread of virus. It is also running an awareness campaign through media to address panic among population. Despite efforts by govt, it is being criticized on different pretexts by a specific group since corona virus epidemic came to light. This undue criticism has brought forward a serious issue to the limelight that if the criticism is irresponsible and is based on personal vendetta, it can have serious implications for public safety. As initially, this group was targeting govt for not allowing its citizen in china to return and was propagating it as inhumane. Now, the same individuals are propagating fear and panic among population by questioning govt various steps against the virus spread. The govt needs to run an effective media campaign as lack of awareness about the facts and figures related to COVID-19 on the mainstream media is adding to the chaos. The virus is affecting 46 countries and territories around the world with overall 81000 infected, more than 30,000 recovered with a minor death toll of a little shy of 3000. The fatality rate is 2 percent, which is less than that of Typhoid and malaria.
It is high time now that govt should formulate a code of conduct for media and social media users and implement it effectively to get rid of such negative propaganda and ensure healthy criticism. Public should also stop spreading false propaganda and cooperate with the government to fight the disease through harmony.

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